China now has 825,000 individuals possessing wealth of more than 10 million yuan, including 51,000 people with more than 100 million yuan, according to luxury publishing group Hurun Report.
"One person out of every 1,700 in the country has a wealth of 10 million yuan, which is far beyond our expectations, if compared with one in 100 in the United States owning $10 million, and one in 150 in the United Kingdom having 10 million pounds," said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman of the company known for the annual Hurun Rich List of Chinese tycoons and entrepreneurs, yesterday.
According to the report, Beijing tops the list with 143,000 individuals with more than 10 million yuan, including 8,800 owning over 100 million yuan, followed by Guangdong province with 137,000 and Shanghai with 116,000.
The top three regions account for 48 percent of the Chinese millionaires. Youngsters dominate the list with many of them just 39 years old.
The survey excludes Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan, and it is the first time for the company to do the report of this sort.
In addition, the report revealed that most of the super-rich are not directly impacted by the exports drops, instead, "the key wealth driver for the top-end rich are through the urbanization trend of the country, ranging from industries like real estate, steel, to electronics retailing", Hoogewerf said.
"This growth is driving China's wealthy to continue to spend, despite the economic crisis," he said.
According to an accompanying Hurun Report survey of 67 wealthy people with at least 10 million yuan assets, 82 percent said their personal lives had been unaffected by the current financial crisis.
Compared with a previous study conducted six months ago, 30 percent had increased their cash deposits, while 54 percent had decreased their equity exposure.
The survey respondents expect the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index to touch 2700 points by the end of 2009, while the property market is expected to recover in 2010.
According to an earlier survey jointly conducted by China Merchants Bank and consulting firm Bain & Company, China would have 320,000 individuals owning at least 10 million yuan of assets in 2008.
Their total assets, including cash, stocks, funds, securities and real estate investments are expected to surpass 9 trillion yuan, the survey said.